As the first tower fell 10 years ago, I was in my third week of teaching. 15 minutes earlier, one of my students came up to me in the hallway. “Ms. Burns,” he said, “I think something bad has happened. I heard on the radio as my mom drove to school that a plane has crashed into a building in New York.”
I remember feeling shocked, but doing my best not to show it. I asked him not to say anything to anyone else, because I didn’t want to scare the other students, and I wasn’t for sure if it was true.
Sitting down at my computer, I quickly fired off an email to the front office to let them know what my student had told me. I am sure that they were aware of it before I sent the email. I taught two classes, wondering what was going on. Wondering if someone would let us know.
When it was time for my off period, I walked into the teacher break room. Someone had rolled a TV in there from the AV room and had it turned on to the news, I think it was NBC. None of us said anything. Some were sobbing, most sat in shocked disbelief.
I will admit that my first reaction was to run to my car and go to my son, who was in first grade at the time. I wanted to hold him and keep him safe. But I had 80 students coming into my classroom that day, and I knew that his teacher would keep him safe.
Ten years later, and like everyone else, the pictures and video from that day still make me cry.
We will never forget.
God bless America.
God bless our families.
God bless us.